Persons not in the labour force represent that group of the population who, during the reference week of a Labour Force Survey, are neither employed nor unemployed (diagram 6.2). Interest in this group centres primarily on their potential to participate in the labour force.
There were 3.9 million persons aged 15-69 years not in the labour force at September 2003 (table 6.39). Some 21.6% of these persons not in the labour force (834,600) were marginally attached to the labour force. These people wanted to work and were either actively looking for work but not available to start work in the reference week, or available to start work (within four weeks) but not actively looking for work. Of persons not in the labour force, the proportion of females who were marginally attached (23.2%) was higher than that for males (18.8%). Of the marginally attached, 10.9% of males were actively looking for work compared with 5.3% of females.
In September 2003 there were 79,800 discouraged jobseekers. Discouraged jobseekers are persons who are marginally attached to the labour force, who want to work and are available to start work, but are not actively looking for work as they believe they will not find a job for labour market related reasons. Of males who were marginally attached to the labour force, 10.1% were discouraged jobseekers, compared with 9.3% of females.
6.39 CIVILIAN POPULATION AGED 15-69, Labour force status - September 2003
|Civilian population aged 15-69 years|
|Persons in the labour force|
|Persons not in the labour force|
|With marginal attachment to the labour force|
|Wanted to work and were actively looking for work|
|Were available to start work within four weeks|
|Were not available to start work within four weeks|
|Wanted to work but were not actively looking for work and were available to start work within four weeks|
|Without marginal attachment to the labour force|
|Wanted to work but were not actively looking for work and were not available to start work within four weeks|
|Did not want to work|
|Permanently unable to work|
|Source: Persons Not in the Labour Force, Australia, September 2003 (6220.0).|